How much iodine do we need?

Commented on November 26, 2013
Created November 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Just how much iodine is too much? Some seem to think it's pretty much "the more the better" within the realm of reason. People point out, for instance, that the Japanese get many many times more iodine than Americans. I've been supplementing with kelp capsules and wonder if I should consider increasing the dosage. I want to have very strong thyroid function and fear I may have a weak thyroid. And I know, I need selenium along with it.

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on November 26, 2013
at 02:46 AM

I love Nori sheets. Kelp... haven't tried. Though, like liver, I am nervous because I've heard negative things about it. I love liver so maybe I'll love kelp too? Anyway, the capsules are a very cheap and simplistic way to get a daily dose of iodine.



on November 24, 2013
at 07:10 AM

Kelp capsules? Man, you're missing all the flavor. I eat that stuff toasted, un-toasted, boiled, etc.

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1 Answers


on November 23, 2013
at 07:12 PM

As long as you're taking around 200mcg/day of selenium then you can go upwards of 50mg/day on iodine. I think if you are iodine sufficient then about 1-5mg/day (from Lugol's solution or Iodoral which contain both iodide and iodine) would be a good maintenance dose as long as you're not exposed to large amounts of chlorine, fluorine (both from water), and bromine (from fire retardants in fabrics, or in processed foods) which can bioaccumulate and displace iodine. The 150mcg (0.15mg)/day RDA set by the US is far too low and is really the level to prevent goiter, not a level for optimal health.

You could try doing an iodine "patch test" where you paint some iodine on a small patch of skin and check how long it takes for the stain to disappear. If it takes more than 24 hours then it is a good indication that you have enough iodine. If it takes less than that, then you are likely deficient. It isn't a highly reliable test because there are several external factors that could affect it, but it is a lot cheaper than having lab testing done.

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